Aw, Shucks...Guess It's Happy Hour At Aw Shucks
Where: Aw Shucks, 3601 Greenville Ave., 214-821-9449
When: 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily
What: Half-price raw oysters (regularly six for $6.95 or 12 for $9.95), $1.50 drafts (reg. $2.75), $2 Tecate (reg. $3.25), $7.50 pitchers (reg. $10). Also, $3.95 lb. crawfish (reg. market price) on Wednesdays.
Why: Because it's right across Greenville Avenue from the perpetual Dallas Observer Music Award-winning Granada Theater, which has earlier showtimes than most Dallas venues--sometimes to the dismay of dawdling concertgoers. Get to this relatively early-ending happy hour on time and you're sure not to miss a minute of whatever show is going on at the theater that night. And the food is great.
If you're not planning to eat, Aw Shucks isn't the kind of place to go just for a drink, unless you just really like the smell of fried seafood. There's no liquor available (thought they do offer flavored wine margaritas), and the beer and wine selection is limited to cheap domestics and a few Mexican brews. But if you want a cheap and tasty early dinner (or late lunch) with a side order of cheap buzz, it's one of the best options in town.
The menu is very basic Gulf-style fare, with most platters falling under $10. It's mostly fried, though you can get crab legs, gumbo, blackened tilapia, shrimp cocktail, ceviche or crawfish (a past Best of Dallas winner) if you're not in the mood for crispy. But it's hard to go wrong with the fried baskets (catfish, oysters, shrimp, wings [huh?], crab cakes or combos) and po' boy sandwiches, which are generous enough that you can easily share most of them if you add an inexpensive side order of the excellent jalapeño-spiked hush puppies and perhaps a 95-cent cup of coleslaw.
Order at the counter and sit inside on barstools or on the patio picnic tables, where you can combine ketchup, various hot sauces and horseradish into your own custom cocktail sauce. It's a decidedly unpretentious atmosphere, with paper towels for napkins and disposable plastic cups for drinks. But try to keep track of how many beers you have--nobody else is counting. You're on the honor system as you pay on the way out.